Gluten stimulation induces an in vitro expansion of peripheral blood T gamma delta cells from HLA-DQ2-positive subjects of families of patients with celiac disease.
Lio D. Bonanno CT. D'Anna C. De Luca S. Gervasi F. Cavataio F. Iacono F. Salerno A.
Institute of General Pathology, University of Palermo, Italy.
The intestinal gluten sensitivity formally known as celiac disease (CD) is characterized by an evident involvement of local immune response and it is associated with the expression of HLA-DQ2 allele. The major role in the disease seems to be played by the T lymphocyte population bearing gamma delta T cell receptor (T gamma delta cells) which are increased both in peripheral blood and intestinal mucosae of celiac patients. In this paper data on the effects of in vitro gluten stimulation on lymphocytes expressing the T gamma delta phenotype are reported. Gluten seems to be able to induce the expansion of the T gamma delta cell population both in CD patients and their HLA-DQ2-positive asymptomatic relatives, in spite of the absence of clinical evidence of the disease. In addition, the evaluation of gluten-induced cytokine production shows that interleukin-4 could be implied in the early phases of pathogenesis of CD.